Major. Spalding, H. 104th Foot. Served as D.A.A. and Q.M.G. on the HQ Staff. Was in temporary command of the lines of commu nication at Rorke’s Drift on the departure of Glyn’s Column fro m its camp on the Buffalo. Received news from the Isandlwana camp, on the 22nd Jan., o f bodies of the enemy having been observed. Considering the ponts across the river to be insufficiently protected, proceeded to Helpmakaar for aid. On returning towards the Drift, was met by Major Upcher, in command of two cos. of the 24th, bearing news of the disaster at Isandlwana. Pushed on with the cos. for Rorke’s Drift, but came across a strong outpost of the enemy,and was met by fugitives who stated that the post had been taken and the garriso n slain - news which appeared to be confirmed by the fact the flames were to be seen issuing from the building. Hastened back with the cos., menaced by the enemy, to Help makaar (which was devoid of garrison), with the object of pro tecting the ammunition and supplies there amassed, and formed a waggon laager round the co mmissariat store - the command of the detachment having b een, in the meantime, taken over by Col. Hassard, R.E. Performed transport
duty throughout the remainder of the war.
Extracts from Mackinnon & Shadbolt's South Africa Campaign of 1879